PARSNIP (PASTINAK) SOUP

Parsnip Soup has a subtlety sweet and savory taste, perfect for coming in out of the cold on a winter day.  Garnished with sautéed mushrooms and crispy pancetta, it also makes for a unique and impressive first course when having friends over for dinner!

PREP TIME:  10 min

STOVE TIME:  Wonderbag Method 20 min

Conventional Method 1 hour 10 min

SERVES:  6

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SOUP

  • 2 shallots, diced

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced

  • 1 Tbsp (1.5 g) fresh thyme

  • 3 parships, peeled and cubed

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken or vegetable stock

 

OPTIONAL GARNISH

  • 1 1/2 cups (100 g) wild mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) Pancetta

  • Fresh black pepper

  • Fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

 

COOK THE SOUP
CONVENTIONAL METHOD

1)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre) pot on medium-high.  Add olive oil and shallots and saute 5 minutes, until shallots are soft and start to brown.

 

2)  Add garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute.

 

3)  Add your cubed parsnips, salt and stock, and bring to a boil.

 

4)  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for at least 1 hour.

5)  Stir occasionally.

 

 

 

WONDERBAG METHOD

1)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre) pot on medium-high.  Add olive oil and shallots and saute 5 minutes, until shallots are soft and start to brown.

 

2)  Add garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute.

 

3)  Add your cubed parsnips, salt and stock, and bring to a boil.

 

4)  Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, covered, for 10 min.

 

5)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag and leave to cook for a minimum of 1 hour (best to leave it 4-5 hours, or all day, the flavours develop the longer you leave it).

 

PREP YOUR GARNISH

Heat a frying pan on medium high heat to get it really hot.

 

Add your cubed pancetta and cook for 1 min, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until your pancetta is browned and cooked through.

 

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.

 

Saute your wild mushrooms in the pancetta fat for maximum flavor.

Parsnip Soup garnished with mushrooms.
SERVE

 

When you're ready to serve, puree the soup into a smooth consistency using a hand/staff blender (or transfer to a food processor or drinks blender) and ladle into shallow bowls.

 

Add your mushrooms and pancetta, and sprinkle with fresh black pepper and chopped thyme.

 

 

Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOK THE SOUP
PREP YOUR GARNISH

COOKS NOTES

INGREDIENTS

 

I use one tsp of salt when seasoning, but this will of course vary by how salty (or not) your stock is.  Parsnips can vary in size - the three I used weighed just over a pound, which is a good ratio for the amount of stock in the recipe, in order to get a creamy but not too thick texture.  If your parsnips are larger, or you like just like a thinner soup, you can always add more stock during the pureeing process.

GARNISH

 

This soup is deliscious on it's own as part of a light lunch or mid-day snack, but if you aim to impress and/or make it a bit more filling, then add some sauted mushrooms and a few bits of browned pancetta or bacon.  But go easy on the bacon - a little goes a long way and you don't want to over power the lovely flavor of the soup.

 

KITCHEN BUDDIES

 

The Wonderbag is ideal for fresh vegetable soups to enable a slow cook and retention of flavor and nutrients (i.e. you're not opening the soup to stir, so all goodness is trapped inside).  I use a hand blender to puree the soup directly in the pot (vs. transfering to a food processor or blender).

 

EAT THIS

 

Parsnips are high in potassium, antioxidants and fiber, making it great for weightloss and general health. 

Chickpea and Quinoa Tabbouleh